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The Agincourt Bride Kindle Edition

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Length: 593 pages
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Agincourt Bride

‘Gripping and emotional.’ Woman

‘Superb…a real find.’ The Bookseller

‘Captivating.’ Woman’s Own

About the Author

Joanna spent twenty-five years at the BBC writing and presenting for radio and television.
Gripped by Shakespeare’s historical plays, Joanna began researching the King Henry V’s ‘fair Kate’ as a schoolgirl and the story of Catherine de Valois and the Tudor genesis has remained with her throughout life.
Joanna Hickson lives in an old farmhouse in East Lothian and is married with a large family and a wayward Irish terrier.


Product Details

  • File Size: 1143 KB
  • Print Length: 593 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0007446977
  • Publisher: Harper (January 3, 2013)
  • Publication Date: January 3, 2013
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008IWSX5Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,563 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Joanna Hickson became fascinated with medieval history when she visited her first English castle at the age of thirteen. However, having taken a degree in Politics and English she followed a 25 year career in broadcast journalism with the BBC, presenting and producing news, current affairs and arts programmes on TV and radio. Now she writes full time and lives in an old farmhouse in Wiltshire, England. Joanna is married with a large family on both sides of the world!
Join her on Twitter (@joannahickson) or Facebook (Joanna Hickson)and if you can't find her she'll be in her writing room which dates back to the period in which her books are set - the 15th century!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

69 of 71 people found the following review helpful By Marie A. Parsons on January 16, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Agincourt refers to a battle between France and England. The English, led by Henry V (he of Shakespearean fame) came to glory and victory through their use of longbowmen. In Hickson's novel, Agincourt is barely a blip in the life of Catherine of Valois. But the battle drives much of the journey taken by this French princess, who would become Henry's wife and mother of Henry VI.

Instead of telling the story through Catherine's own eyes, or even that of Henry's or any other aristocrat, Hickson wisely chooses to tell Catherine's story through the eyes of her trusted confidante Guilliamette, aka Mette. Starting as Catherine's wet-nurse after the early death of her own newborn, Mette continues on through long years to remain close to the princess and to events at the court. While each woman is a product of the age in which they live (e.g. neither is a feminist, or warrior--neither can escape the experience of ugly personal physical abuse at the hands of vile males), yet each manage to move past this experience, and all the need to survive in an ever-changing maelstrom of fortune and disfavor. Both Mette and Catherine manage to carve out rich and rewarding lives for themselves.

Mette may be the narrator--and a very good one she is--but this is Catherine's story. After spending her early childhood in a convent, Catherine then becomes a pawn. waved in front of the invading Henry V as a potential bride, while the French courtiers decided whether or not placate the English or not. When Catherine first meets Henry, she is taken with him (more than she thought she would be) and he is obviously also pleased with her. Finally they marry as part of a treaty. But this is not a love story.
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39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By myfairlady on March 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of historical fiction because I can go back and actually learn something later when I research what parts were true. Anyhow I got this book because the reviews though few, were very positive. I took it with me to Mexico and probably almost ruined my husbands romantic getaway because I could not put it down. I hate to admit I haven't read a lot about Henry V or Catherine of Valois though I knew of them. This helped pique my interest in who they really were and I've learned a lot of history after I researched it. The book was well written and fascinating. I highly recommend it and I am now awaiting the second book to come after. Catherine was an amazing lady who though maybe a pawn earlier in life was finally able to shape her life into her own making. She was able to find love and start a dynasty of royalty that sparked the War of Roses. Awesome book.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Judith Loriente on March 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
So much historical fiction is so lightweight that it's really just historical romance, and so poorly-researched that it's safest to brace oneself for the worst just in case the worst eventuates. So it's rather a shock when something turns out to be brilliant.

I read The Agincourt Bride immediately after Anne O'Brien's novel about Catherine de Valois, The Forbidden Queen. That was good, competent historical fiction, but The Agincourt Bride is better. It's actually completely different - instead of commencing around the time of Catherine's marriage to King Henry V of England, it ends there. It's basically a novel about France in the early fifteenth century, as the mad King Charles VI - he who at times thought he was made of glass - descends into imbecility, leaving France without a strong monarchy. The inevitable result is factions of feudal princelings competing for power, killing one another, and basically doing anything other than governing in the interests of the people.

The story is told in the first person by Mette, wet nurse, servant and ultimately devoted companion to Catherine de Valois. Writing a historical novel in the first person by a fictional servant/lady in waiting to a queen is a clichéd device, so it's to the book's credit that it works perfectly and doesn't seem at all cringeworthy. Mette regales the protracted warring among France's princes and their Burgundian cousins, and, as per the usual with this device, has her own familial joys and sorrows - although for some reason this too doesn't seem clichéd.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Emmy on June 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is total fiction, not historical fiction. If you're looking for a biography or to learn more about the time, find something else. This book is full of rape and abuse scenes, which I find difficult to read. I kept putting the book down or skimming ahead to get past them. At the end of this book, I know no more about Catherine of Valois than her wiki entry, which had more real information than this book. Sadly, disappointed.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Winona Fowler on March 14, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Historically accurate and enjoyable reading , could not put it down . I would reccomend this to any one interested in the early 1400's in England and France .
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By ereini0n on September 8, 2013
Format: Paperback
There is a lot, and I mean a lot, of historical fiction told in first person by a young woman out there. Too much, I'd say, because when something becomes a trend, everyone who's ever written as much as a "Dear Diary!" feel themselves a potential (self)published author and goes off to write more "intimate accounts" of famous women in history, or rather thinly veiled self-portraits.

This is not the case with this book.

Written only in recent years, this book has a lovely oldfashioned romance feeling to it, something reminicent of Dumas, even. There's the damsel in distress, the uncaring mother, the more-or-less handsome prince, the evil and powerful adversary.
The story of Catherine is told by her nurse and companion, so it is not only the story of royalty and power but also the little people - the servants, the merchants, the stable boys...
The book is written in a whimsical, full of humour, at times a bit too modern, style, without ever stepping off from the realm of professionalism and research.
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